When the French people overthrew the monarchy in 1789, they abolished all titles of nobility. There were no more dukes and duchesses, barons and baronesses. “Citizen,” as each person was to be called, leveled the playing field. In theory, each person was to be considered equal to his neighbor.
Our key verse announces a new equity in terms of how we relate to God. The resurrected Christ makes an incredible pronouncement. His Father is our Father, His God our God. All the privileges and rights of participation in God’s family are made available to us. His words call us to a life of confident prayer.
As explained in the book of Hebrews, this life of intimacy with God is only available because of Jesus Christ. We are not naturally born into God’s family as a result of being created by Him. We are adopted into God’s family only by our personal faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ (cf. John 1:12).
That Jesus Christ is our brother, that He has made atonement for our sin, and that He is at the right hand of God the Father in heaven means everything for our prayers. It’s entirely on the basis of what Jesus has done and who He is that we can come to God confidently in prayer. Upon Jesus’ death and resurrection, the door of the throne room was flung open, and now we decide to wait at the threshold or enter in.
Despite this, our experiences as depraved people argue that we’re not worthy of such an invitation. Through Christ’s death, we’ve been released from the captivity of fear, but we still struggle with the real record of our human failings and weaknesses.
The tremendous news is that Jesus Christ, the God-Man, has understood our humanity. Our weaknesses and fears should be our very reason for praying! Jesus’ humanity guarantees the sympathies of God on our behalf (Heb. 2:18).